‘Beautiful Chaos’ is book three in the ‘Caster Chronicles’ preceded by ‘Beautiful Creatures’ and ‘Beautiful Darkness’ and followed by the fourth and last book, ‘Beautiful Redemption’. I would suggest that these books are read in order as they would make little sense if read as standalone novels. I would also suggest that you have copies of all the books to hand as they tend to end on massive cliff-hangers leaving you wanting to get onto the next book asap. I honestly don’t know what I’m going to do when I finish the last book because I’ve become quite fond of the characters in these books, but I’m sure another great series will come along. As usual, as this is book is part of a series, I apologise for any accidental spoilers, you have been warned!
‘Beautiful Chaos’ follows swiftly on from book two, ‘Beautiful Darkness’, and it seems that Lena’s odd choice of Dark and Light has had a profound effect not only on the Caster world but that of the Mortals as well. Things are not right, seriously not right with a massive heat wave, a swarm of locusts and everyone foretelling that this is the end of days. The choice Lena made to be both Dark and Light seems to need some kind of payment and it seems to want it from everyone. Link is trying to get to grips with his new incubus(ish) powers, while his on again/off again girlfriend Ridley is getting used to being a Mortal. All the Casters seem to be having trouble with their powers and even Amma can’t get in contact with the Greats or even seem to cook properly. Something is working up to a serious conclusion in this book, the Order is going to ask for a huge payment in order to set things straight again, if they even can be.
This book starts out a lot darker than the previous two and you’re left with no doubt that bad things are coming. It promises to leave you feeling very uncomfortable indeed but you know it’s just the way the story has to go to get to the right conclusion in book four, ‘Beautiful Redemption’. I think this is one of the reasons why I didn’t really like the first part as it took me a while to really get into it. Maybe another reason was that there seemed to be a lot more worrying about things, but not much actual getting on and fixing things and also not a lot of exciting discoveries, apart from when Liv comes back into the story. Is it just me or is Liv far more interesting and exciting than Lena? If there were teams, I’d definitely be team Liv.
Again, one of my main dislikes with this series is that the books are all way too long. It takes forever to get anywhere and often it feels like things are dragging. Sometimes, I admit I do enjoy some of the slower chapters but I feel that this is getting to be more of a problem as the books carry on. I noticed that ‘Beautiful Redemption’ is about 100 pages shorter than the others in the series, maybe Garcia and Stohl took notice of other reviewers who mentioned the slowness of the books.
Again, we have some timeslip elements but this time we’re looking at Lena’s mother, Sarafine, and how she came to leave Lena and her father in the fire that claimed Lena’s father’s life. This was interesting as a bit of a back story for Lena but I personally didn’t find it as interesting as the previous timeslips into the American Civil War, etc.
I also have to say that I found ‘Beautiful Chaos’ a lot more confusing than the previous ones, it felt like there was lots of description going on but somehow it was describing the elements needed for me to completely understand what was going on. Weirdly, it felt as if this book was written by someone completely different to the previous books.
Overall, I have to say I was disappointed with ‘Beautiful Chaos’. I felt there were a lot more errors in it, silly things like one minute a person is holding something and the next they’re telling someone else to put it down. These are things that I didn’t notice at all in the first couple of books at all so they cause me a little concern about the quality of the fourth book. No matter, I’ll read it anyway if only to find out how it all ends.
(pub: Penguin. 516 page paperback. Price: £ 5.99 (UK) if you know where to look. ISBN: 978-0-14133-526-1)
check out website: www.penguin.co.uk